Tuesday, October 26, 2010

My Thoughts on Today's Tax Day - April 15, 2010

I am reflecting upon some wisdom I received from my neice Emily, who will be 19 this summer: "Be THANKFUL that you earn enough to pay taxes, for that means you made a good salary." Thank you Emily for that wisdom. I do appreciate it. I am going to add to it………..

It is a privilege to be able to support our great nation for the endeavors for which it was created. It is a privilege to be able to support the community I live in.

I especially want to help support the common defense. I want to support the endeavors which will promote commerce among our citizens and the other nations of the globe. I want to support the efforts which must be kept in place which make our nation have separation of powers, which in turn will yeild limited government. I want to support the endeavors which promote justice and the rule of law.

I even want to support the salaries of the men and women serving in our legislatures and executive branches – ESPECIALLY IN THE STATE HOUSES LIKE VIRGINIA, where they work PART-TIME for $ 19,000 a year generally while holding down significant primary jobs and/or businesses. These men and women are patriots, and honestly – I would like to see their salaries raised. I have seen my state legislator when the State House is in session, and know that he gets up at 4 AM, to do his primary work prior to session, then works until 10 PM each night. I have seen the rings of exhaustion underneath his eyes. I know he uses his personal vacation time to serve our state. I am thankful he is in The Virginia State House representing me, and sacrificing for me. And for that, I wish his compensation could be greater.

Virginia and it’s part time legislature one of the exceptions. Many in Government, not all, but many – their salaries and benefit packages are out of touch with reality, especially when compared to private industry and many small business owners. In my County, the salary of our Superintendent of Schools exceeds that of our State Governor. That is not right. I DO NOT SUPPORT THAT WITH MY TAXES. That but one example.

Another is, our County School Board awarded a carpet cleaning bid to a cleaning company FROM KENTUCKY, that was higher by over $ 1,000,000 than two bids from LOCAL companies – one from a within our county that has been in existence for over 25 years and has a stellar record. These owners have employees that live, shop and spend their money right here in our community These owners have multiple real estate properties in our County, where their real estate taxes support our county. Their bid was $ 1,000,000 less than the one from out of state, yet our School Board awarded a contract to a company that comes from Kentucky. I DO NOT SUPPORT THAT WITH MY TAXES. That is but one example.

Folks – we must dig down to this level in each of our communities. I can not elaborate more in this short space, but as citizens WE MUST. We must question every expenditure, just like we do when we decide to purchase high speed internet at home or get leather seats vs. cloth seats in a new car. This is our money – it is our kids future, and our grand-kids.

I have some friends who I know are afraid to get engaged. You may be afraid of being called a “tea-bagger.”

That is such a disguisting term, I can’t believe our media even allows it to be said over and over and over and over and over. Well, I think of Margaret Thatcher. “If all they can do is throw insults, then I can feel pretty good about the quality of my argument.” (paraphrased).

Another thought on the privilege of paying taxes.

I want my leaders to inspire individuals to reach for the point where they pay taxes. Rather than talking about all the things government can do for you and all the goodies it can give you, I wish they would inspire us to do for ourselves. Improve ourselves, to the point where we can reach the higher tax brackets – OR EVEN the bracket where we START paying taxes and contributing financially to this great society we have. We have a great society. It was not made great by class warefare and division.

There is something to be said about the pride that comes from contributing toward a common goal. Our founding, and the principles upon which we were founded are worthy of our contribution.

Why are our leaders constantly promoting class warefare, which divides and tears down instead of promoting individual greatness which builds up? This does not create an environment of participation. It in fact does the opposite.

These are my thoughts as I prepare to go protest WASTEFUL government spending today. I am proud to be a tax payer. I will continue to strive for those higher income levels, where the amount I contribute also increases.

I am a firm believer in the cause of our great experiment in individual liberty. However, our focus must return to individual liberty and individual responsibility. This is what I want my tax dollars to support.

The Mount Vernon Statement - Conservative Beliefs, Values and Principles

Originally Written Saturday April 24, 2010:


Clearly we are at a pivitol moment in history, as can be demonstrated by the 100’s of thousands if not over a million people who turned out for “Tea Party” events last Thursday on Tax Day 2010 in towns and cities all across this great nation. In addition, approximately 1.5 Million marched on Washington on September 12, 2009 and grass-roots organizations are growing by leaps and bounds all over the country as a direct result of the rapid expansion of government.

We all know this expansion is NOT new, only the pace of it’s expansion. We also know that we are to blame. Our appathy allowed it to happen.

The single largest concern is how do we unite so many various groups, which clearly contain individuals from both major parties, independents as well as individuals who have NEVER even participated in the political process until the last 12 – 18 months. Numerous discussions are taking place regarding platfom, vision statements, third parties, etc., etc., etc.

I want to share with you a document which was recently produced, and initially signed by 80 leaders of conservative groups on February 17, 2010. Even though it was signed in 2010, it should be noted that this document was actually drafted PRIOR to the election of Barack Obama.

Here is how the initial signers describe the document:

“In light of the challenges facing the country and the need for clarity in the age of Obama, The Mount Vernon Statement, modeled on the Sharon Statement issued on Sept. 11, 1960, is a defining statement of conservative beliefs, values and principles penned by a broad coalition of conservative leaders representing a wide spectrum of the movement including fiscal, social, cultural and national security conservatives.”

Cleary our current executive branch, many in the legislative branch and the mainstream media want nothing more than for this movement to dissipate and become meaningless. I believe The Mount Vernon Statement could be a key element in uniting the many grass root groups which currently are very cumbersome and lack defined purpose and unity.

Following the document is a list of some of the initial signers and the organizations they represent. Then following that is a link to The Mount Vernon Statement web-site where you can sign the Statement yourself. Currently there are 42,500 signers. Let’s spread the word and see it grow. Please share with your friends and any local conservative groups you are involved in.

Scott Cooper
Fredericksburg, VA


The Mount Vernon Statement

Constitutional Conservatism: A Statement for the 21st Century

We recommit ourselves to the ideas of the American Founding. Through the Constitution, the Founders created an enduring framework of limited government based on the rule of law. They sought to secure national independence, provide for economic opportunity, establish true religious liberty and maintain a flourishing society of republican self-government.

These principles define us as a country and inspire us as a people. They are responsible for a prosperous, just nation unlike any other in the world. They are our highest achievements, serving not only as powerful beacons to all who strive for freedom and seek self-government, but as warnings to tyrants and despots everywhere.

Each one of these founding ideas is presently under sustained attack. In recent decades, America’s principles have been undermined and redefined in our culture, our universities and our politics. The selfevident truths of 1776 have been supplanted by the notion that no such truths exist. The federal government today ignores the limits of the Constitution, which is increasingly dismissed as obsolete and irrelevant.

Some insist that America must change, cast off the old and put on the new. But where would this lead — forward or backward, up or down? Isn’t this idea of change an empty promise or even a dangerous deception?

The change we urgently need, a change consistent with the American ideal, is not movement away from but toward our founding principles. At this important time, we need a restatement of Constitutional conservatism grounded in the priceless principle of ordered liberty articulated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

The conservatism of the Declaration asserts self-evident truths based on the laws of nature and nature’s God. It defends life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. It traces authority to the consent of the governed. It recognizes man’s self-interest but also his capacity for virtue.

The conservatism of the Constitution limits government’s powers but ensures that government performs its proper job effectively. It refines popular will through the filter of representation. It provides checks and balances through the several branches of government and a federal republic.

A Constitutional conservatism unites all conservatives through the natural fusion provided by American principles. It reminds economic conservatives that morality is essential to limited government, social conservatives that unlimited government is a threat to moral self-government, and national security conservatives that energetic but responsible government is the key to America’s safety and leadership role in the world.

A Constitutional conservatism based on first principles provides the framework for a consistent and meaningful policy agenda.

• It applies the principle of limited government based on the rule of law to every proposal.

• It honors the central place of individual liberty in American politics and life.

• It encourages free enterprise, the individual entrepreneur, and economic reforms grounded in market solutions.

• It supports America’s national interest in advancing freedom and opposing tyranny in the world and prudently considers what we can and should do to that end.

• It informs conservatism’s firm defense of family, neighborhood, community, and faith.

If we are to succeed in the critical political and policy battles ahead, we must be certain of our purpose.
We must begin by retaking and resolutely defending the high ground of America’s founding principles.

February 17, 2010

Edwin Meese, former U.S. Attorney General under President Reagan
Wendy Wright, president of Concerned Women for America
Edwin Feulner, Jr., president of the Heritage Foundation
Lee Edwards, Distinguished Fellow in Conservative Thought at the Heritage Foundation, was present at the Sharon Statement signing.
Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council
Becky Norton Dunlop, president of the Council for National Policy
Brent Bozell, president of the Media Research Center
Alfred Regnery, publisher of the American Spectator
David Keene, president of the American Conservative Union
David McIntosh, co-founder of the Federalist Society
T. Kenneth Cribb, former domestic policy adviser to President Reagan
Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform
William Wilson, President, Americans for Limited Government
Elaine Donnelly, Center for Military Readiness
Richard Viguerie, Chairman, ConservativeHQ.com
Kenneth Blackwell, Coalition for a Conservative Majority
Colin Hanna, President, Let Freedom Ring
Kathryn J. Lopez, National Review

We the undersigned join in our support of the guiding principles of The Mount Vernon Statement.


Thoughts on 9/11 and a Clash of Worldviews - A Start to a discussion.

Originally Written September 11, 2010

My initial Comments:

While we spend time today remembering and praying for the families of those who lost loved ones on 9/11, I think we should also recognize that this runs deeper than one event.  It really should serve as a wake up call to the clash of worldviews that we face.  It is not a new clash – Thomas Jefferson faced it when he was forced to create the U.S. Navy to combat The Barbary Pirates (terrorists from the 16th – early 19th century) in the early 1800’s.

In response to the Barbary Pirates seizing American trading vessels of the coast of North Africa, unless the Unites States were to pay tribute or subsidies (bribes) for safe passage in trading routes:

From Wikipedia:

In March 1785, Thomas Jefferson and John Adams went to negotiate with Tripoli's envoy to London, Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman (or Sidi Haji Abdul Rahman Adja). Upon inquiring "concerning the ground of the pretensions to make war upon nations who had done them no injury", the ambassador replied:

It was written in their Koran, that all nations which had not acknowledged the Prophet were sinners, whom it was the right and duty of the faithful to plunder and enslave; and that every muslim who was slain in this warfare was sure to go to paradise. He said, also, that the man who was the first to board a vessel had one slave over and above his share, and that when they sprang to the deck of an enemy's ship, every sailor held a dagger in each hand and a third in his mouth; which usually struck such terror into the foe that they cried out for quarter at once. <span>[2]</span> <span>[3]</span>

Jefferson reported the conversation to Secretary of Foreign Affairs John Jay, who submitted the Ambassador's comments and offer to Congress. Jefferson argued that paying tribute would encourage more attacks. Although John Adams agreed with Jefferson, he believed that circumstances forced the U.S. to pay tribute until an adequate navy could be built. The U.S. had just fought an exhausting war, which put the nation deep in debt. Federalist and anti-federalist forces argued over the needs of the country and the burden of taxation. Jefferson's own Democratic-Republicans and anti-navalists believed that the future of the country lay in westward expansion, with Atlantic trade threatening to siphon money and energy away from the new nation on useless wars in the Old World.<span>[4]</span> The U.S. paid Algiers the ransom, and continued to pay up to $1 million per year over the next 15 years for the safe passage of American ships or the return of American hostages. Payments in ransom and tribute to the privateering states amounted to 20 percent of United States government annual revenues in 1800.[citation needed]

Jefferson continued to argue for cessation of the tribute, with rising support from George Washington and others. With the recommissioning of the American navy in 1794 and the resulting increased firepower on the seas, it became increasingly possible for America to refuse paying tribute, although by now the long-standing habit was hard to overturn.

Declaration of war and naval blockade

On Jefferson's inauguration as president in 1801, Yusuf Karamanli, the Pasha (or Bashaw) of Tripoli, demanded $225,000 from the new administration. (In 1800, Federal revenues totaled a little over $10 million.) Putting his long-held beliefs into practice, Jefferson refused the demand. Consequently, in May 1801, the Pasha declared war on the United States, not through any formal written documents but by cutting down the flagstaff in front of the U.S. Consulate. Algiers and Tunis did not follow their ally in Tripoli.

In response, Jefferson sent a group of frigates to defend American interests in the Mediterranean, and informed Congress. Although Congress never voted on a formal declaration of war, they did authorize the President to instruct the commanders of armed vessels of the United States to seize all vessels and goods of the Pasha of Tripoli "and also to cause to be done all such other acts of precaution or hostility as the state of war will justify."

The schooner USS Enterprise defeated the 14-gun Tripolitan corsair Tripoli after a fierce but one-sided battle on August 1, 1801.
In 1802, in response to Jefferson's request for authority to deal with the pirates, Congress passed "An act for the Protection of Commerce and seamen of the United States against the Tripolitan cruisers", authorizing the President to "... employ such of the armed vessels of the United States as may be judged requsite ... for protecting effectually the commerce and seamen thereof on the Atlantic ocean, the Medeterranean and adjoining seas."<span>[5]</span>

The American navy went unchallenged on the sea, but still the question remained undecided. Jefferson pressed the issue the following year, with an increase in military force and deployment of many of the navy's best ships to the region throughout 1802. USS Argus, USS Chesapeake, USS Constellation, USS Constitution, USS Enterprise, USS Intrepid, USS Philadelphia and USS Syren all saw service during the war under the overall command of Commodore Edward Preble. Throughout 1803, Preble set up and maintained a blockade of the Barbary ports and executed a campaign of raids and attacks against the cities' fleets.


My ending Comments:

The clash of worldview is still in place today.  The only difference is our leaders today do not hold the same view that Jefferson and Adams did after they visited with Ambassador Sidi Haji Abdrahaman.  In addition, these battles are no longer being waged on Foreign soil, they are being waged on our soil, in our courts and using our freedoms and constitution to implement Sharia Law into our Justice and Financial systems.

It was more black and white when the invasion, tributes, subsidies and bribes were simply due to trading routes and merchant ships  Once it enters our courts, government institutions and utilizes our own freedoms against us, it is a much more difficult battle to fight than Jefferson had on his hands.

Remember – Washingtons administration agreed to pay the tributes to the Barbary Pirates – it was Jefferson who put an end to it.  That gives me hope. 

Very Important Note to my Virginian Friends.

Written June 13, 2010:

Many of you know the good work our Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli is doing for our state, and if you are reading the news at all you are also aware of the attack’s he is receiving in the press.

A couple weeks ago I had the privilege / opportunity to attend a fund raiser for our Attorney General (AG). I know and trust the organizations who were stressing the importance of financially supporting AG Cuccinelli’s office, but I was having a hard time understanding WHY? Didn’t he just get elected? During the fundraiser, I had the opportunity to meet him, and I asked him that very question. He told me that while the press has been extremely critical of all that his office is doing, they were not providing his office a forum to respond to the criticisms. THEY WERE NOT EVEN PRINTING HIS LETTERS TO THE EDITORS in response to the attacks! He mentioned to me over five prominent print media outlets in our commonwealth where this was the case.

Therefore, the private funds he was raising would be used to educate the Virginian Citizenry about the issues facing our commonwealth and the lawsuits his office has initiated – SINCE THE FREE PRESS was not adequately reporting his side.

I left that fund raiser so angry. Honestly, I thought if I WAS taking my family on a family vacation this year, I would cancel my vacation so I could financially support his effort (among others) like this. I was so angry – I could not believe that OUR “F-R-E-E PRESS” was so biased that they would not even print letters to the editor written by an Attorney General, THAT WAS ELECTED by we the people, the citizens of our Commonwealth.

After reviewing the web-site and noticing that the donations given on his web-site state they are going to his campaign fund, I called and spoke with the Director of his local office in Fairfax. The previous Saturday, I had only 2 – 3 minutes actually speaking with the AG. His Director gave me the unvarnished truth of THE BATTLE that they were up against, and that while the contribution web-site wouldn’t change, that within a week the public would begin to see evidence of things that the funds were being utilized for.

First and foremost they would be conducting educational forums to present the various issues. The frequency and venue’s of these forum’s would vary, but knowing that private funds were being utilized they do their best to utilize the funds in such a way they would get the biggest bang for the buck.

The least costly venues he stated would be webinar’s (which would be the first medium used), and conference calls but that the AG would also be speaking throughout the commonwealth at various events and there could be some selective Print and a Media advertisements. If you are part of an organization that would like to have the AG come speak, contact his office. The primary focus would be educating the citizens about the issues, and each opportunity would be on different issues and the frequency would be AT LEAST once a quarter. He informed me the first one would be on the Health Care Lawsuit.

I write all that for two reasons:

1. If you can support his office, please do:


2. His first event is a Web-Cast, and is Wednesday June 16th at 10 PM.

Please Register to be on this web-cast, and get as many folks as you can on this. To follow is information directly from his office:

This webcast is produced at no expense to taxpayers.
Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli has received a great deal of national attention recently for the lawsuit that the Commonwealth of Virginia has filed against the Federal government regarding the newly passed Federal health care law (Commonwealth of Virginia vs. Sibelius) The Federal government responded on May 24, 2010 with a motion to dismiss the suit. This was an anticipated response and only the second step in a multi-step process that will play out in the coming months.

Join us for a free live town hall meeting interactive video webcast, Wednesday, June 16, 2010 at 8 PM as Virginia Attorney General Ken Cuccinelli explains this multi-step process. In addition, Attorney General Cuccinelli will discuss the Constitutional issues involved and respond to questions from the participants.
Following the webcast, there will be a question and answer period with AG Cuccinelli. But, you must sign up at either http://www.Cuccinelli.com/ or http://www.tvworldwide.com/vents/cuccinelli/100616/ to view the webcast.

The Attorney General's Office confirmed that another e-blast will go out to those that have signed up in advance, prior to the June 16th Town Hall Webcast. If you want to be in the know, then it is critical that you sign up now, or your name will not get entered in time of notification of events.

The Healthcare Law Suit is Not Specific to the State of Virginia, but to the entire United States Citizens. Congress did not listen to us, now it is a Federal Judge that will listen to the Constitution and Rule as to the Constitutionality of the issue under Law. Whether you agree or disagree with the Obama-care mandate, the Constitution.

I am also going to post this as a note that you can share with your friends.

Folks – ROME IS ON FIRE. The bias in the media is already rampant, and THE NEXT BAIL OUT could very well be the media that is financially bankrupt. I know I sound like a broken record, but we need to wake up.

Tell your friends.